Gunma is very famous for hot springs, but my friends told me what they could do after enjoying hot springs there. So, I’d like to introduce some of my favorite places to visit.

1. Shima Lake Kayaking

In Gunma Prefecture, there are many places to enjoy outdoor sports. One of my favorite sports is kayaking at Shima Lake. Shima Lake has very clear and deep blue water.

Shima lake's blue water

2. Takumino-sato

If it were raining, you could spend some time at Takumino-sato, which provides an experience-based facility. We did Konjak cooking, made Soba (Japanese noodles) and picked apples. You can rent a bicycle to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

Konjak is a jelly-like food made from Konjak potato. It’s popular for dieters due to its zero calories. Cooking konjak is the same as playing with plasticine like kids do. After kneading Konjak dough, we created various shapes of Konjak.

Kneading Konjak dough

3. Yokokawa station

If you have train mania, Usui Toge train museum, next to Yokokawa Station, is must-visit place. There are over 30 railway vehicles and you can play on train simulators and operating trains needed making reservations beforehand. Near Yokokawa Station, there is an original shop of Oginoya which serves Kamameshi, a rice, meat and vegetable dish served in a small pot.

Usui Toge train museum

4. Yanba Dam

Over the years, I have visited the Yanba Dam area more than ten times with my then fiance and later with my two kids. It was a little bit sad to discover that the beautiful nature had been destroyed but it was good to see that new buildings and houses had been constructed and that many tourists are coming to see the developing Yanba Dam.

My favorite soba place is Soba Dokoro Yanba which is serving fried mushrooms and Japanese noodles. They have moved from their original site, which is going to be under the water when the dam is completed, to a much higher place with views of Yanba Dam.

Agatsuma Valley

Constructing Yanba Dam